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Keish- October 1, 2003

October 1, 2003

Dear Arri,

Help, I’m being smothered! Gretel is on me every second to make sure I don’t accidentally kill myself or something! (The only advantage is avoiding the rampant gossip about Prince Euan and Vanessa!)

Yes, of course, come! Would Father mind, honestly Arri! Of course he wouldn’t mind! In fact he was saying just this morning that it’s a pity you couldn’t come with Liop (Okay, so I didn’t tell him the whole story about Liop running off…) And while part of that, I’m sure, is because you’re a stabling influence on me, he also misses you. You’re kind of a favorite with him.

Okay, so Gretel and I conferred and decided the best course would be to tell her father and have him talk to Imato, since he could tell Imato not to go storming off anywhere, because we know how Imato’s usually rational persona gets thrown completely aside when his temper spikes. And it’s a good thing, because wow did his temper ever spike! Imato is furious about the whole affair-- to the extent that he almost went storming off anyway and nothing short of Gretel’s tears stopped him. Gretel’s father sent a whole division (Okay so Gretel’s correcting me, it’s called a party) of soldiers, his elite. Anyway, he sent them out at full speed the moment we told him and they very well may even beat my letter. Their orders are to track the men and get Glory back. He’d have sent some to stay with you, but we thought it would make you uncomfortable so we fibbed and told him you were staying safely at Mendel’s.

The man that came into your room intrigues me. Don’t be disturbed by that, let me explain. It seems to me that if he wanted to take you, he could have simply grabbed you. Instead he tossed you out the window, but only after tossing out all the pillows, which he had to have known would keep you from getting hurt after falling. It’s almost like he was trying to give you a chance to get away. I wonder… well, no, it couldn’t be anyone we know, because you’d have recognized him, right? I’ll have to ponder it.

I’m sorry you had such an ordeal, and I’m not trying to trivialize it at all, but there is so much I have to tell you. Oh, yes, why don’t you tell Clara, she seems trustworthy. And get her to find out Mendel’s involvement in all that went on. Oh, but you’ll have to tell Clara about the stuff in this letter, because I’m enchanting it so that only you can read it. To anyone else it will just be the script to that horrible court comedy I wrote when we were younger. (Such an awful play, it makes me shudder) I would set the enchantment to allow for Clara as well, but I don’t have anything of her to use.

Anyway, as I was saying… my spell actually worked just fine, it was just a lot more powerful than I had intended. Instead of bringing on a trance for a vision that would last a few minutes, it knocked me out for a vision that lasted several hours and sapped my strength. It’s really my own fault, Brynn had warned me about the strength of my divining spells since I have such innate powers, and it’s a Brio legacy I learned (I’ll get to that in a minute) but I wasn’t as careful as I should be. But I learned a lot!

Alright, first things first-- Brio Legacy. Liop says he told you that I said the bad luck is a myth and it is. It actually originated as a protection for the family, a screen of apparent clumsiness and bad luck to cover the vast power our family once (and still, in some respects) held (holds). So, while I realize it seems very real right now, don’t worry overly much about it. The power I’m referring to is actually three main abilities. Each generation nearly every Brio child possesses at least one incredible ability. The first is the ability to communicate to animals, which, as Liop told you, he has as does Uncle W. The second is divination, or premonition, which as you may guess, is what fell to me. It is the gift my mother had. The third, actually, your mother had, though I don’t remember it. Maybe you remember better. The third gift is an incredible healing ability, and with some help (Which is always required to make the gift manifest-- Brynn did it for me, I did it for Liop) I’m sure you will show it. Now the use of it is totally up to you, and if you’d rather it remain dormant, that’s your right, but your temperament is very well suited to healing (Gretel is agreeing with me. She’s been watching almost my every move since I awakened!).

Anyway, if you’re interested, we can do what needs to be done when you are here. If you’d like, Brynn can teach you.

The Brio family also has great natural ability when it comes to magic. Obviously, Liop and I have already tested this, and I’ll bet if you and Imato chose to try, you’d find yourselves adept as well. Though, Imato, it seems, takes after your father’s side more. When there are more than three Brio children in a generation there are still only three that possess great gifts, but often a fourth shows even more magical ability, not always though. And Imato really isn’t interested, so I’ve not brought the matter to his attention. I don’t know, you know him better than I, what do you think?

So, a lot of this (well, practically all of it) I’ve learned through vision trances that were not as powerful as this last one. In this last one I learned… oh, it’s hard to put into words.
First, there was a fourth child in our mothers’ family. They had another sister. Did you know that? I didn’t know. I don’t think there’s any record of another daughter, but she was obviously (well, okay, so it’s probably not obvious to you, but if you had seen what I saw… well, you’d have no doubt) the child with the extraordinary magical talent. She must be the woman you saw in your dream, do you remember? Your description made her sound like my mother, but not quite. I feel certain it must be our aunt.

I don’t want to disappoint you, but I don’t think we’re going to find Uncle W until we’ve gotten to the bottom of everything going on. Perhaps we’re unraveling the very mystery he disappeared trying to unravel… Think about it, if he has another sister and she’s in the cave… He would go looking eventually, right? If he found some clue… Arri, try to find or remember whatever you can about when he left; anything he said or mentioned or planned might be useful.
I will have to find out more through divination as well, because it seems that may be our best resource right now. Unless you can find out more from Tulson, You’ll have to let him know you’re coming here.

Gretel is threatening not to let me do anything that even resembles divining, but she can’t keep me from sleeping and my dreams are as useful as the visions. And I promise to be more careful. (And, since Brynn is back, I’m sure she’ll make me be more careful also.) I underestimated the Brio power, which I won’t do again. You know, if we have another cousin through this other aunt it would be him (or her) that would have the extraordinary magical power-- I love Imato dearly, but he doesn’t have the marks of it.

Another thought, you may want to consider developing your healing ability to help Glory when they find her. I feel confident they will and she will probably need help if they aren’t sensitive to her condition, which is the most likely. How close is she to having the foal? Hopefully she wouldn’t begin labor before she’s found. We’d lose them both, almost certainly. Unless I’m right about the man trying to help you get away and he’s somehow sympathetic and could help her. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he were really Uncle W and could talk Glory through everything that is happening to her! You know he would never let anything happen to her or her foal.

Oh, Gretel says to tell you that there isn’t a tournament coming up, but that her father is going to surprise Imato by letting him… perform? I guess… in this upcoming exhibition thing. Usually only the old knights and their upper-ranking elite are allowed to participate, but Gretel’s father is so pleased with/proud of your brother that he’s making an exception for the first time in known history. (sorry if that’s shaky and hard to read, I’m laughing soooo hard! Gretel-- level-headed, rational Gretel, goes to pieces when she talks about how proud everyone is of your dear brother. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of him too, he’s amazing, but she’s quite laughable. OW! And apparently she’s still reading over my shoulder… that hurt.)

Speaking of Imato again, he said earlier to make sure you knew that he is concerned about you and that it’s not his fault he can’t come to you. He says to blame Gretel and I, though you know he really just means for you to blame me ‘cause he’s too smitten with Gretel to actually blame her for anything, even if it was her (well, her tears, as I said) that really stopped him. I told him you are safe and should be coming soon and that made him feel better about his not going to you.
I’d better close so that this can get to you quickly, I know you’re anxious.
May you be able to travel quickly and safely.
Love always,

P.S. I just read through your last couple of letters again. Deer and Wolves? That doesn’t sound like a very useful oracle. Especially if we’re the deer. I, for one, have no intention of being slaughtered by wolves.

Arri, I hope you are okay. Keish says you are and that you are trying to come soon. I miss you!
Love Liop

Arri, You are okay, right? Hurry to us, you’ll be safe here. I’ll try to keep Keish in line, but her father’s right, you are a stabling influence!
Love, GRETEL (and Imato)

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